Men's National Championships
May 23, 2018
The Canadian Men's Handball Championship wrapped up in Sherwoord Park this past weekend with a total of six teams taking part in the year end competition.
The action kicked off on Friday morning with hosts Alberta earning a 30-22 victory over local Alberta club Wanderers HC. The provincial team earned another key victory over the highly competitive Celtique Handball Club from Montreal in a hard fought battle by a 25-21 score with Darryl Lakusta leading the way with his seven goals.
However, the Wanderers were able to generate key points in their next match over Tropical Sharks HC from Manitoba with a 34-23 victory with Tapio Tierate scoring eight goals in the tilt. The Sharks finished 0-2 on matchday 1 but a very bright spot was the offensive prowess of Colin Bouchard who led all scorers with 24 goals after two matches.
Saskatchewan lost both their games to Ontario and Celtique but only by a single goal in each, truly showcasing the increased parity in Canadian handball. Juan Sotes provided nine goals for Ontario in their match as the Trillium province won their opening two games while Celtique's Leo Davail scored an impressive ten of his own against the Land of the Living Skies.
Matchday two saw Ontario lose their first game of the tournament to Celtique while the next one saw a barn burner featuring 75 goals taking place with Saskatchewan defeating the Sharks 45-30.
Ontario's record went to 2-2 after falling 29-17 to Alberta who also earned a definitive victory over the Sharks later on in the day with natonal team player Greg Chauvet contributing 11 goals to the cause.
The tightest game of the game of the day however came between Saskatchewan and Wanderers who drew 30-30 in a vintage back and forth match that neither team wanted to drop. Sask's Brandown Chow was dynamite all tournament long scoring 11 of his own in this match, his third game in which he scored at least 10, while Miha Cujez also scored 11 in a match that the capacity crowd in attendance in Sherwdood Park were only too happy to enjoy.
Matchday three saw Celtique earn a well deserved 32-23 victory over the Sharks which clinched their place into the championship. Saskatchewan fell to undefeated Alberta thus eliminating them from medal contention but their talisman Brendan Chow would win the top scorer award with a sensational 46 goals.
Wanderers HC defeated Ontario 25-14 which resulted in a rematch for the bronze medal in which they were again victorious 25-13. Saskatchewan finshed 5th with a victory over their prairie neighbours in Manitoba with a 34-26 win.
The championship saw Alberta take on Celtique in a match that saw the hosts take a commanding 20-10 lead heading into the half. Edmonton native Courtney Spence notched eight goals in the match, leading all players, and though the 2nd half was evenly matched Alberta's lead could not be surmounted as they won 34-24 to win the 2018 National Handball Championships. Ward Hrabi and Craig Bremmer were the officials for the final match.